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Union Dues Returned To Ohio School Bus Driver After Lawsuit

School bus.

A Cincinnati-area bus driver is getting her union dues back after a settlement prompted by last year’s "Janus v. AFSCME" decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Under the ruling, public employees can’t be requiredto pay union dues as a condition of employment. 

Donna Fizer drives a school bus for the Ripley Union Lewis Huntington School district outside Cincinnati. She told school officials she wanted to end her union membership.

Union officials pushed back, arguing Fizer could only leave during a contractually-established escape period—kind of like the open enrollment period for insurance plans.

Fizer sued in federal court and the union decided to settle, returning all dues collected since she revoked her membership. Her case is one of five in Ohio taken up by the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation. They also represented a Columbus city employee who won a similar settlement in May.

Union officials couldn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.